Dismiss Notice
Get 12 monthly issues of BeerAdvocate magazine and save $5 when you select "auto-renew."

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join our email list →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.

Founders Breakfast Stout - Founders Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Founders Breakfast StoutFounders Breakfast Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

3,604 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 3,604
Hads: 15,466
Avg: 4.47
pDev: 19.02%
Wants: 1,757
Gots: 5,421 | FT: 245
Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States | website

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout | 8.30% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: marburg on 07-26-2003

Brewed with flaked oats, bitter and sweetened imported chocolates, Sumatra and Kona coffee.

60 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Founders Breakfast Stout Alström Bros
Reviews: 3,604 | Hads: 15,466
Photo of digitalflood
4.25/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thick black body with wet mouthfeel. Good head reduces to good lacing. Smells of coffee and cream. Front palate is all Kona coffee beans and some bitter stout. Creamy in the mid-palate with milk, chocolate, and some more coffee. On the back palate it's all bitter coffee, hops, stout, and some toasted oats and barley. Beautiful balance. Very nice traditional breakfast stout taste. On the verge of excellence. 4.25 out of 5. Very good.

 436 characters

Photo of spartanfan
4.25/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

fresh 12 oz bottle from this year's brewing
a: pours a dark black with nice tan head
s: smells of dark roasted coffee, perhaps a faint note of alcohol as well
t: taste is rich with roast coffee, roasted malts , and some chocolate as the beer warms. a nice bitter finish.
m: very creamy, full, mouth coating mouthfeel. light carbonation
d: not bad considering the alcohol content i could drink a couple of these

 410 characters

Photo of OlRasputin989
4.25/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: deep opaque black-brown brew with a cappucino colored head, which isn't very big. maybe the high alcohol.

S: smells of fresh espresso, roasted hazelnut, chocolate, also smells of oatmeal. hint of chocolate covered orange peel.

T: milk chocolate, roasted nuts, and coffee up front. finishes with dark chocolate, oatmeal, coffee, roast nuts, and a hint of citrus fruit.

M: a full body with velvety and creamy entry that gently coats the tongue and cheek. finishes dry with a slight citric fruit astringency.

Overall, This is a really good stout. I was after this one for a while and it stood up to my high expectations. A delicious, full- bodied stout for the coffee lover.

 679 characters

Photo of pigc
4.25/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours nearly pitch black with a half finger creamy brown sugar colored head.

S - Bitter dark chocolate, coffee, toffee, black licorice.

T - Chocolate and bitter coffee start followed by a wave of alcohol. Nice semi-dry bitter finish.

M - Oily and viscous. Medium to heavy.

O - Definitely a top tier stout. Love the medium abv, not too light, not too heavy. Pick up a bottle or 4 pack if available!

 405 characters

Photo of Zbyler
4.24/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A- Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Thick and Dark as night with a nice tan head at the top.

S- Smells like a fresh brewed cup o' joe! Also detected a hint of oatmeal and some chocolate as well.

T- Coffee, coffee, and more coffee up front. Definitely some oatmeal and hints of chocolate leading into a subtle bitterness at the end. I tasted a slight alcohol bite on the end as well but nothing crazy. Has a nice sweetness to it. Thick but not as thick as I expected from seeing the pitch black color.

M- Thick, viscous, but smooth as butter. Goes down easy and the flavors leave you longing for the next sip. Coffee flavor lingers for a while for sure.

O- Not a huge coffee drinker but I enjoy it from time to time. I was very impressed by the way founders pulled this one off. The 8% ABV is hidden quite well. Gotta hand it to them because I almost feel more awake after drinking it. Definitely not something I could drink more than 1 of in a sitting but a nice treat on a cold weekend.

 1,007 characters

Photo of goochpunch
4.24/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out pitch black with very thin head. Oddly enough, this smells like a Waffle House (in the best ay possible): coffee, slightly overdone toast, starchy stuff on the flat griddle, cigarette ash. I get a little bit of chocolate in there as well. Flavors of caramel and roasted malts and coffee are the strongest up front. Chocolate plays very much a supporting role. Slight roasty bitterness is apparent, but the 60 ibus go unnoticed. I don't pick up any hop flavor, really. Kind of sweet for me. Carbonation is great in this: smooth yet lively. I could take this a little more viscous, however. This is a good stout, but nothing mindblowing. A bit too sweet for my liking overall.

 684 characters

Photo of vandemonian
4.24/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This bottle of FBS was very fresh (it's only been available for a few weeks). FBS is a very strong coffee stout. This is a full-on beer with strong burnt malt and bitter coffee flavours.

A: Black colour and a lovely big brown 1 cm head that fades to nice lacing. 4

S: Roasty malt and strong coffee. Amazing. Maybe a little smoke. 5

T: Malty with some sharp burnt flavours. There are also strong coffee flavours and bitterness... strong bitterness for a stout. The finish is dry with a little charcoal. 4

M: Foamy. 4

O: 4

 525 characters

Photo of djeucalyptus
4.24/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a vigorous pour yields a meager ruddy brown head sitting atop a murky near-black body. Mahogany and garnet shine through when up to the light. The head fizzled away, leaving some decent lacing down the glass.

Aroma is purely blissful. Rich coffee beans mixed with freshly brewed coffee and rich bittersweet cocoa. Dark chocolate and pepper mix with vanilla and caramel. A bit of roasted malt to remind that this is beer.

Taste is solidly roasted malt with roasted coffee. Some heavy bitter coffee and twangy hop bittering follows the sweet coffee opening. Caramel and a bit of pepper stay through the finish, intermingling with the pine hops that become more powerful as it warms. A solidly roasty, coffee, oatmealy and pleasantly bitter brew. Maybe a bit high on the bitter, and a touch less chocolate than I was hoping for, but all in all a solid brew.

Mouthfeel is a touch thin given the flavor profiles. Carbonation as well is just a touch thin, yielding a slightly watery and slightly slick brew. smooth and fairly easy to drink.

Definitely a solid brew. the aroma is purely incredible. I wish the taste and mouth followed as closely to the aroma. Not bad, an interesting mix of bitter coffee and roasted cocoa. A bit more sweet to mellow out the bitter coffee, and a touch more carbonation and this one would be perfect. Definitely worth trying... and I'm going to have to get my hands on some more.

 1,410 characters

Photo of buschbeer
4.24/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured into a pint glass to a small brown head. It is black in color. It smells like a cup of black coffee. There is some chocolate to round it out. Intense coffee taste. A little more than I was expecting, but I guess that is why it is rated so high, for the intense flavors. I prefer a little more subtle flavor. I love the smell.

 334 characters

Photo of Benish
4.24/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into snifter glass.

Appearance: the beer looked insanely thick as I was pouring. Pitch black in color - can't really expand on that. A short brown head built up while pouring but it wasn't anything crazy thick or large.

Smell: smelled the bottle and it was instantly coffee. I mean straight up coffee and no chocolate. When smelling from the glass, the roasted coffee is still intense but also picked up some sweet chocolate. For some reason, the aroma reminds me of those coffee beans coated in chocolate that you eat . Eating those, you get the woodsy bitterness of the coffee bean but than the chocolate blends in as you chew it.

Taste: the bold coffee flavor instantly comes in; you might have to like coffee to appreciate this. I myself enjoy good coffee and I have to say I'm really enjoying this. I pick up bitterness from both coffee and chocolate. The bitter coffee is more up front but there is also that subtle earthy bitterness that leans toward unsweetened baking chocolate. I cannot emphasize enough, this beer is all coffee and well....beer. I do however wish there is a bit more depth in the beer. It taste pretty much the same from start to finish.

Mouthfeel: creamy, thick, full bodied.

Overall: the best non-barrel aged coffee stout I've had. I seriously would love drinking this in the morning. It's really like drinking a fantastic cup of coffee!

 1,384 characters

Photo of Keystrokegraffiti
4.24/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.25

This was my first real stout. I had always been under the impression that stouts were going to be super heavy, very bitter, and generally taste like espresso beer. I was pretty wrong and this was the perfect beer to shatter my misconception.

Absolutely full of flavor. You get everything on the bottle and more. Coffee, chocolate, oatmeal, and I personally tasted caramel as well. Smell goes right along with it. Like a stout is supposed to be, it was dark and very filling. This will definitely be one of my staple beers when I need a stout.

 543 characters

Photo of Infiniteingest
4.24/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Generally: So, this a cellared 2012 BS, procured from Bayview Liquors here in Southie, where Rick is doing a fine job curating craft beers. I've been drinking this year's BS and have been smitten from one glass to the next. While I still see stars with the 2012, they are ever so slightly less scintillating. I can't say a word about how this 4 pack was cellared, so my critique has to avoid specifics, but this is not nearly as sexy as the fresh Breakfast Stouts I have been drinking.

The Pour: Black beauty with exceptionally fine (champagne fine) carbonation, and a nice cacao colored head. Looks positively scrumptious.

Face in the glass: Chocolate and coffee. Bright and well hopped, but it's all sweet roasty malts up front.

Temperature: Perfect at 50 degrees, but it warms well.

With Regard to Taste: Rather than concentrating with the time in the cellar, this 2012 tastes less bright and assertive than the 2013s I've been drinking. It's still delicious, but I've enjoyed the beer fresh a lot more than this older beer. It is not bottle conditioned, so there's that. I don't think it should be, per se, but I was hoping time would effect some interesting changes; not the case here.

Epitoma: Drink the Breakfast Stout fresh! Fresh, it is Top 5 best stouts I have ever had--never cloying, with lots of depth and malt to burn.

Note: Blue cheese and a cheddar burger. Smoked bluefish.

Serving type:

 1,410 characters

Photo of kimcgolf
4.24/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Not quite its kin "Kentucky Breakfast", but a damn fine beer. Pours to a burnt coffee black, with thick tan head hat dissipated fairly quickly and left decent lacing. Immediate nose of coffee, vanilla, chocolate and toffee, all blended together. As the beer warms around mid-glass, the 8.3 abv rolls nicely into the mix as well. Mouthfeel is full and sweet, with a hint of spiciness. Taste is truly a pleasure, as each of the ingredients in the nose take turns dancing ont the tongue, with the alcohol rounding them all up for a long warming finish.

Most enjoyable.

 566 characters

Photo of Carb-Overlord
4.24/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Simply a fantastic sipping stout. This feels thick and delicious while drinking; I could see this as being very fulfilling on a cold winter's day.

A: Black with a very slight tan head.

S: Chocolate covered coffee beans rolled in yeast extract... Marvelous aroma.

T: This is a relatively sweet beer, the chocolate comes off strong in the beginning but a coffee flavor finishes each sip. The blend and transition is done quite well, neither flavor overpowers other but actually components each other in a pleasant way.

M: This is a smooth beer; the carbonation is laid back but still present to give the mouth a little zip. Nice balance between effervescence and creaminess. Well done Founders.

O: I will certainly be passing this out to other beer connoisseurs.

 769 characters

Photo of ms11781
4.24/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottled on 12/08/2011. 12oz bottle poured into a snifter.

Pours a thick, deep black with a nice finger or so of creamy brown foam sitting on top. The head eventually recedes leaving a nice tan cap and some wispy lacing on the glass.

The nose is huge. Massive coffee and nice dark chocolate notes lead the way are are complimented by some light, but still potent, roasted aromas. As the beer warms there is a bit of sweetness that comes through but it's very subtle. This nose is excellent.

The taste follows along with the nose. Huge coffee and bitter, dark chocolate are the dominant flavors and play well with the nice roasty notes in the background. None of the sweetness that was in the nose makes it through here. It big coffee, big chocolate, some good roast and a nice dose of bitterness.

A big body and low carbonation give the beer a huge, thick, heavy mouthfeel without ever feeling too thick or viscous. It's silky smooth and hides the 8.3% ABV extremely well.

This beer is outstanding. It has big, bold flavors and aromas that compliment each other extremely well. For me it's best when fresh and coffee forward. As the coffee fades the beer loses some of it's edge, in my opinion.

 1,200 characters

Photo of gabe23
4.24/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Looks black but shows some brown when held to a bright light. The brown head is small and fades quickly, but does leave some scattered lacing.

S - Lots of black coffee with some chocolate in the mix. Also a slight hint of vanilla.

T - Big flavor here. As expected, coffee and chocolate dominate, and some burnt toast flavor is there also. The alcohol is hidden well but there is definitely a little heat at the finish.

M - Rich and creamy, but not too heavy. Moderate carbonation.

D - Quite drinkable though at 8.3% there are limits. I'm not a big fan of coffee stouts, but this is a beer that I really enjoy every now and then.

 636 characters

Photo of artoolemomo
4.24/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance- Pours up about a finger's worth of head which doesn't seem to have much retention. The head is a medium to dark beige while the body is an opaque, dark chocolate black.

Nose- Very heavy on the coffee. I hope the flavor profile doesn't reflect it too much but there are lots of roasted malt notes here. They don't hide the chocolate and the small amount of fudge but it pretty much obscures any other aromas.

Taste- Plenty of coffee but it is much more seductive and accessible than that of the nose. Some chocolate but this really is a breakfast stout- even more than KBS which I like better. This is a coffee drinker's delight and one that I enjoy as well. The dry finish makes for a very neat and clean flavor profile. Some chocolate and oatmeal but coffee really is the star of the show. A bit simplistic but still pretty good because coffee used is very well rounded to the extent that it's almost exquisite. The chocolate, while not very explicit, helps to smooth it so that it has none of those woody or sour notes you get with some coffee stouts. I wish I could say more but this is just a really good beer that doesn't muck it up with a lot of complexity. Presence, balance, and integration- it's got all of those but complexity? Not so much.

Mouthfeel- Medium bodied with light carbonation. Somewhat of a dry finish.

Drinkability- Very deceptive despite its lack of nuance. Rich but smooth coffee. I think I could dump this on ice and a coffee drinker wouldn't know the difference. The 2.50 to 3 bucks it usually goes for seems like a bargain. What I paid for it, is not.

Overall- Really good beer that is almost great. A little too simplistic for my tastes. This is not to say that the coffee used isn't complex, just that other notes aren't prominent enough. Definitely worth a try but you probably already know that. Not as amazing as advertised and I won't be going through the trouble to get this again. I would drink it all the time if it were easily accessible and around 3 bucks a bottle. But I'm on the West Coast and that ain't happening. And I'm okay with that.

 2,101 characters

Photo of harrymel
4.24/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks for Czoch75 for this one!
Poured from 12oz to NB Globe. 55F.
Bottled 08/27/10

A: Small, mocha head recedes within the minute and subsequently leave small film of lighter, albeit still light mocha sheeting across surface. Deep, timeless black. Only when tilted 60 degrees can I even sense the passage of light through this one, and when it does, it looks like coffee (brownish translucent). Scattered bubble lacing.

S: And now I understand why they named it breakfast stout! Thick, luxurious coffee spearheads the nose only to be accented with notes of dark cocoa beans, burnt sugar, molasses, caramel, dates and even a slight touch of licorice.

T: Again, coffee dominates this beer. As I regain attention to the matter at hand, I begin to taste the cocoa, and it is bitter cocoa, have no mistake. I can feel the heat of the ABV on this as well. The hops take a backseat, but the kind of a polite child: reserved, but ever present with a kick of bitterness to remind you we are still no there yet!

M: Viscous like a filtered Turkish coffee, this beer resonates in the mouth and fills the palate with a velvety structure to negotiate during the sentence of enclosure.

D: Very drinkable, I feel like I ham happy to say I got a good size bundle of this beer to help me share and also age. I imagine the coffee will recede in the beer over a year and will help engage the malts here. Good stuff, if you can, get your hands on it!

 1,437 characters

Photo of ryan1788a5
4.24/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle poured into a New Belgium Globe.

A: Midnight black and completely opaque with a one-inch dark brown head. Moderate retention, light lacing.

S: Intense smell of espresso, lots of dark chocolate, cocoa, and some oatmeal starch. Highly aromatic.

T: Bold flavors of dark chocolate and roasted malts are quickly usurped by deep coffee and espresso. Chocolate tastes switch intermittently between bitter dark chocolate and sweet creamy milk chocolate flavors. Coffee flavors turn a little acidic and bitter, but in a pleasing way. Nutty tastes pull through at times, along with cocoa powder and just a hint of earthy starchiness. Hops add bitterness, but no real flavor. Long, drawn out finish showcases espresso and semi-sweet dark chocolate.

M: Thick, rich, creamy, luxurious, and velvety smooth. One of the greatest mouthfeels I've ever encountered.

D: You bet your ass I'd like another.

 903 characters

Photo of Bauzen
4.24/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black as night, thick as motor oil. I've heard it thins over time. Probably would have enjoyed it more if I waited for that to happen. Thick beer in the dead of summer isn't the best choice.

Smells of Coffee and Chocolate - much like you'd expect.
Tastes like Coffee and Chocolate - much like you'd expect.

Leaves bitterness on the palate on the finish. Not sure how much of that is the density of the beer.

Overall, I'm not a huge fan of these kinds of stouts on a regular basis - but when I do drink them, I prefer KBS or Bourbon County. This would be good for someone that wants a more reasonable ABV than those two options, though.

 638 characters

Photo of evanackerman
4.24/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

wow, what a beautiful pour, black as night with a thick taupe colored head that does not dissipate.

aroma is dark coffee with alcohol and a hint of chocolate.

taste is a chocolate explosion - rich dark chocolate accented by deep coffee, a nice touch of bitterness and then more chocolate. maybe the most complex beer I've ever tasted.

mouthfeel is absolutely perfect - smooth, creamy, low carbonation, everything I'd want from a stout.

This is a very fun beer, i will definitely be buying this again.

 505 characters

Photo of Tele
4.24/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Serving Type: Bottle from 9.15.15
Consumed: 9.29.15

A: 4.75 Looks exactly like a stout should. Pitch black with a uniform, tan head that that leaves some lace on the glass.

S: 4.5 Aromas on this beer is very nice. Lots of bittersweet chocolate, dark roasted coffee, vanilla, brownies, liquorish, chicory, and earthy, grainy, malt. The coffee smells mostly of French roast, but there is a slight berry element that works its way in.

T: 4 Taste is pretty similar to the nose. However, roast dominates a bit more on the palate. The roast is balanced out nicely by mild sweetness, but comes back with fairly strong, lingering bitterness on the finish.

M: 4.25 Carbonation is spot on. I almost feel like the body could be a bit more substantial, but the beer’s relatively light feel makes this beer super drinkable.

O: 4.25 FBS is a really nice coffee stout. The chocolate elements help balance things out very well – much better, in my opinion, than the vanilla in victory at sea. Maybe not the best coffee stout, but very drinkable and tasty.

 1,049 characters

Photo of Nipitato
4.24/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased a bottle at Rozzi's Wine House in Lakewood, OH.

A: This beer pours out like motor oil. Dark, tan head. Dark brown-opaque.

S: The aroma is full of fresh tobacco character with notes of chocolate and coffee - not espresso but regular joe. Full and rich. Some hop character. Booziness is noticeable.

T: Plenty of hop bitterness balances out the heavy malt sweetness. Malt is chocolate (dark) some vanilla character. Dark fruits - plum. Coffee but again not espresso like. Quite good all around.

MF: Thick, smooth. Slightly dry. Surprisingly, no alcohol warming.

D, notes: This beer totally lives up to its hype. Well balanced - bitterness is done particularly well.

 681 characters

Photo of ybnorml
4.24/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A solid black beer, completly blocks out the light. Has a big foamy brown head. A rich coffee character rises up from the glass with a promising cocolaty background. The coffee and chocolaty notes play back and forth in your mouth. With a silky bittersweet chocolate character taking over on the finish.

 303 characters

Photo of RevereBeer
4.24/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured this from a 12oz bottle into a tulip.

Appearance: Jet black. Pours sort of thick and slow into the glass forming a thick, tan head. Leaves little lacing.

Smell: Wow. Smells like sticking your nose into a box of chocolate covered coffee beans. Smells sweet and very roasty. The nose on this really blew me away.

Taste: Bitter coffee is strongest, and chocolate is almost as powerful. Both are intense flavors. The oatmeal adds something real nice. The alcohol is detectable.

Mouthfeel: I could eat (not drink) this for breakfast. Oatmeal adds a lot to thicken the beer, and its ultra creamy and thick.

Drinkability: Good, but with a high ABV and such a huge body, not great - I expect that from an imperial though.

Coffee, chocolate and oatmeal are three items I eat just about every day. This brew combines them in the best of ways.

 851 characters

Founders Breakfast Stout from Founders Brewing Company
99 out of 100 based on 3,604 ratings.